Wholdaia Lake, Entrance To Dubawnt River - Esker, North Shore of Hinde Lake
Distance 39km [330 km]
Portage 0 
Very Fast Water 10 
Rapids 4 
The first day on the Dubawnt River! This is something John has talked about for the last two years and here we are!! We were packed up and on the water by 8.30am. The river was like glass; all around us was reflected in the mirror-like surface. It is an ethereal beauty, you feel as if you are floating above the earth.
We had another cloudless blue sky, no wind and hot but mercifully not as bug-ridden as yesterday. So far the Dubawnt River has been very shallow with many boulders and lots of narrow areas consequently there is a strong current and very fast water. We ran ten lots of very fast water some with mid to high waves and many with shallow boulder gardens making navigation tricky. Though we have called them fast water a number of them could accurately be described as Class 1 rapids. We then ran two designated Class 1+ rapids, RR , the first being about 2 kilometres long. Both became shallow towards the end and we lined these for a short distance. The final narrows before Hinde Lake had two Class 2/Class 3 rapids with deep standing waves and one having a boulder ledge at the top on RR.
We are now seeing more bird life. There are many groups of the white and black ducks and also Canada Geese who look beautiful in their natural environment unlike their miserable cousins who have made permanent homes in cities like Toronto, Chicago and London UK. We have seen a number of pairs of white swans. We believe these to be either trumpeter swans or tundra swans. Today we also saw fish swimming among the rocks and as we crossed the lower Hinde Lake there were fish coming to the surface to feed on bugs all around us.
Finally we reached the esker on the north shore. It has a great beach backing onto open country, huge spruce that had been blown over in storms and all over-looked by an old, long deserted trapper cabin up on the hill. We struck camp on a point covered in discarded caribou antlers just as a windy squall came through blowing the bugs away at least for a few hours.
John decided that today was the day we should start fishing so we took the canoe a short distance off shore and cast for about half an hour with no luck. We started back and when we were about 50 metres off shore John caught a large northern pike. He landed it on the beach. The filleting, cleaning etc. was a bit of a learning curve but we ended up with two huge fillets which cooked up nicely. Yum, fresh fish!
Time for a scrub up then into the tent to avoid the bugs but the tent was full of horse flies! John speculates that today was horse fly emerging day.
Class 1, 1+ etc. defined in the International Scale of Rapid Classification appended to this journal
RR, RL and RC simply refer to the river right, left or centre when describing the approach to running a river or position of a ledge, hole, boulder or obstacle